JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa


Mizrahi and Sephardic Jewish arts and culture

JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that seeks recognition for the nearly one million Jews indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa who were displaced from their country of origin.  JIMENA is dedicated to the preservation of Mizrahi and Sephardi culture and history and seeks to address the existing gap in the historical narrative of the Middle East and North Africa by sharing the Mizrahi and Sephardic story of oppression, plight and displacement.

In 2011, JIMENA received a grant from ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program to support the Mizrahi Cultural Outreach Series, highlighting the traditions of Jews (Mizrahim and Sephardim) who have lived primarily in Arab and Muslim lands.  The series highlighted the cultures of Yemen and Iraq with the participation of Yemenite dance artist, storyteller, and vocalist Margalit Oved Marshall; second-generation filigree artist Yehuda Tassa; and Baghdadi kosher cuisine by Pearl Sofaer.  The series took place in conjunction with a photography exhibit, Last Jews of Yemen

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